Wednesday, June 9, 2010

Back At It

It has been a while since I have posted anything on my blog. I wonder if anyone noticed? Well I am back and hope to share my thoughts throughout the summer months.

Lets start with some random thoughts.

Justin Sofman walks away from basketball and a scholarship saying he will put the basketball down for good. I guess he will at least play intramural ball at his new school Ramapo. I honestly hope for the best for this FINE YOUNG MAN who has always exhibited class on and off the court. I also hope he decides to continue playing at Ramapo which has a strong D3 program. Funny thing is Ramapo might just beat Monmouth if they played them. At least they would be competitive based on past seasons history. And people should never knock this young man for going after what he wanted basketball wise. In the end he most likely will be extremely successful in life and his future career.

So FDU gets a transfer from an A10 school. Melquan Bolding who is one of the few Mount Vernon NY kids to not attend Mt. Vernon HS. What has always made Mt. Vernon so good was the fact the kids did not opt to attend NYC and Westchester Catholic High Schools. This young man was an exception. So now he attends FDU where he will play for Coach Gary Vetrone. Well that is what he said his name is lol. I thought it was Greg Vetrone, a person I coached as a wonderful young man from Queens NY who attended Bergen Community College in NJ and was a very good player there and later CW Post on Long Island. Well Mr. Bolding also said he feels he can trust Gary Vetrone. Interesting and hopefully true. One thing for sure is FDU will be better next season and seasons to come because this young man can really play and might just dominate that conference.

Well it is a new era at Rutgers University. Craig Carter is now at Siena. Jimmy Carr remains at Rutgers in the same capacity (a good thing). I am sure Dennis Gregory will wind up somewhere decent based on connections. At the least he will be with the Hoop Group because Rob Kennedy is loyal and smart. Dennis is great at the camp and youth basketball thing. That brings me to Darren Savino who believe it or not I have always liked and been impressed with. If Fran F would have been named Head Coach at Rutgers he would still be there. Now? My bet is he ends up at FDU where he has been spotted recently. He would be a very good addition to the staff there.

If Savino goes to FDU who will he replace? oops I forgot to mention that Ron Brown has not been retained by Coach Vetrone. Funny how this basketball thing works. Vetrone could not get a sniff for many years after prior jobs at UNLV and other locations. Tom Green brings him back to FDU where he had previously served as a Assistant Coach. Tom, who deserved better, is fired by an Athletic Director who was hoodwinked by certain power brokers who are now even more famous, and all of a sudden the Associate Head Coach Ron Brown who had experience as a BE Assistant, and as a Head Coach on the D1 level is passed over as the intrim Head Coach in favor of Greg Vetrone or should I say Gary Vetrone. Fast forward and Coach Vetrone hires a HS Coach from California as an Assistant to work with the staff on hand. California HS Coach? What favor was he paying back lol?

Now Greg Vetrone who is really a hard worker and will go the extra yard to be successful, gets the permanent job over a few OUTSTANDING CANDIDATES. His first order of business? Not retain Ron Brown who is one of he real good guys in the coaching fraternity. Rumor is he wanted a younger staff which is grounds for ......... Enter Savino who could be outstanding at FDU. But so was Brown who loyally served under Green and helped keep FDU going strong for a number of years and everyone knows this. Maybe Ron needed some California or West Coast connections. Read my blog going back about 9 months and see if what I said is not what is happening based on recent articles about ticket scalping etc. Good luck to FDU but I do have to wonder where is the diversity staff wise? Before I discuss this more I need to further examine and trust me I will! Oddly the AD at FDU is a minority and hopefully he will make sure things are done correctly and appropriately.

Speaking about diversity I am still wondering why IONA would hire a HS Assistant Coach as a Assistant College Coach? I have never ever seen this. I have seen HS Assistants hired as Managers, Adm Assistants, Video Coordinators, and even DOBO's. But never as a Full-time Assistant on a level as high as the MAAC. This is not a knock on the person hired as much is it a question about thoughts of a head coach to fill a position on his staff with a qualified person of color which we know most D1 programs have. Just makes you wonder!

Rumble in The Bronx starts on Friday at Fordham University. I think I will attend........oops I forgot it is now at multiple locations many miles apart. I need to re-think this even though I do love going to purchase those great chicken wings outside the gym.

Speaking of Fordham I am convinced even if Digger Phelps returned with a staff of Mark Jackson, Hubie Brown, and Tom Konchalski, they would still be a middle of the pack team until they tear down that ancient gym and replace it with a 7,000 seat facility good for the entire Bronx area. Kids who would make a huge difference just will not attend despite it being a great academic school with wonderful alumni contacts. Being right off Fordham Road certainly does not help either. The Staff in place is a very good one but it is now time for a real facility with a practice gym attached. I am not even sure the Fordham program is on par with Hofstra at this time. Good luck Coach Picora! Another outstanding person who just happens to be a basketball Coach.

Speaking of Hofsra. Are you kidding me. They turn down a proven winner and very good Coach who grew up 10 miles from the campus to hire a guy who was his Assistant? I am sure when they told the BC Assistant he was the choice he thought he was being punked. I have never seen a Assistant, especially one NO ONE KNOWS, beat out his boss for a position the boss wanted. Never ever! I look for Hofstra to slide back to the days of Dick Berg, a nice guy who could not get it going. Turn Down Al Skinner for his Assistant! I still cannot believe this. Maybe Al decided he did not want the position.

Is it me or does the NCAA play games with folks by looking the other way at violations right in front of them? talk about an old boy network?

UConn had two coaches resign? So Calhoun really was surprised at what the two Assistants were doing? Yes right! So on their own they went out and broke the rules because they just wanted to help UConn? I would bet both have great positions in Hartford in the very near future. Wonder if hose guys realize how hard it will be to get another job in basketball on the D1 level?

As good as Mike Rice will be at Rutgers, and time will certainly tell. He needs to allow his staff the freedom to talk to outsiders and not be paranoid. Rutgers will have a hard enough time getting very good players based on not cheating in the past decade or the future. They will never purchase kids as other schools often do and we all know who does this and has done this for many years.

Mike Rice will be a very good Coach and bring good stuff to the table. The recruiting connections could be outstanding with Van Macon in NYC and NJ, and other guy Cox in DC and Virginia, with Mike having tons of Pa. Connections. Question is what will Rutgers do to support him? When is the practice facility being built? Where are the plans? What about the refurbished RAC? Very hard to compete for kids when you do not cheat nor do you have great facilities. I am not for cheating but the facilities must improve.

OK here we go again with Seton Hall. GREAT TALENT coming back. If Gonzo was still there would they win? ABSOLUTELY! Will Coach Willard win with Gonzo's talent? ABSOLUTELY because he really is a very good Coach and one who will excel. I really think anything other than an NCAA bid would be a disappointing season. This is the year based on returning and new talent. The Rock will be rocking and the place to be.

I say the same thing about St, Johns. Very good talent coming back with very good coaches aboard especially if Dunlap is there to help with X and O's. But I still think Norm Roberts would have won next year. Looking at all those very good players returning I question if St. Johns really wanted him to stay and win which would have meant keeping him for more years. With the talent they have I could lead them to the NCAA tournament and the last championship team I coached was in Teaneck Biddy Basketball with a very good team including my son and David West the current NBA star. One thing for sure there is a buzz about St. Johns all over NYC and kids are looking hard at them. The Garden attendance is key for future success.

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